Local Pastor Killed in DUI

Our Atlanta car accident attorneys read a recent news story about a local pastor in Bartow County who was killed recently in a DUI.

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The accident happened just after a Sunday night celebration at the Thankful Baptist Church, a more than hundred year old church where Reverend Nim Russell worked in Rome. That Sunday was a celebration of the 23rd anniversary of Russell being the pastor of that church. On his way home, around 8:30pm, Reverend Russell and his wife, Julia, were driving in their 2007 Mercedes Benz E350 when they were in a car accident on Highway 140 near Big Oak Tree Road near the Floyd County line. Reverend Russell, who was 55 years old and had three children and 11 grandchildren, was killed when his car was hit head on by a pickup truck driven westbound by Michele Blum, a 47 year old from Adairsville. Her truck, a 2014 Dodge Ram 1500, crossed the center lane and smashed into the Russell’s car. Mrs. Russell was injured and was taken to the hospital, but does not have life threatening injuries. Still, she has undergone two operations at Chattanooga’s Erlanger Hospital and as of a day after her husband’s death, she hadn’t been told. Blum was also hospitalized at Rome’ Floyd Medical Center, as was Charles Louis Blum III, a passenger in the truck. Blum was charged with a DUI, first degree vehicular homicide, driving on the wrong side of the road and driving without headlights.

According to associate pastor, Reverend Carlton Gibson, “[Reverend Russell] loved his wife dearly. He had two daughters that he loved dearly, a son he loved dearly and those grand babies. He really loved those grand babies. He really was a family person.” The congregation at Thankful Baptist was in shock, according to Reverend Gibson. But members say that, in Reverend Russell’s spirit, they have forgiven Blum for the accident. A member of the church, Yolunda Hambrick, said, “He’s taught me to love in spite of, regardless of how I may be feeling about anyone.” She went on to say, “If I continue upon the teachings that he’s taught me, then I will see my pastor again; I will see my pastor again.” Reverend Gibson echoed that sentiment, telling reporters, “We are lifting her up in prayer. We are praying for her and we have forgiven her because that’s what Pastor Russell teaches us.  Just like God has forgiven us for our mistakes and our sins, we forgive her.”

Atlanta Car Accident Attorneys

If you or a loved one has been involved in a vehicle crash due to another’s negligent or reckless driving, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer. To discuss the specifics of your case and any steps to move forward in legal avenues to get any needed compensation to help your family through the difficult time, contact the Law Office of Sammons & Carpenter as soon as possible at 404-814-8948, or fill out our confidential online case evaluation form for a free consultation today.

Photo Credit: Abed Dodokh via Compfight cc

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